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Saul, L.J. (1945). The Shaping of Psychiatry by War: By John Rawlings Rees, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1945. 158 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 14:544-545.

(1945). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 14:544-545

The Shaping of Psychiatry by War: By John Rawlings Rees, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1945. 158 pp.

Review by:
Leon J. Saul

The Salmon Lectures, delivered by the consulting psychiatrist to the British Army and Medical Director of the Tavistock Clinic, compose this volume. The author's extensive experience with psychiatry during World War I as well as in World War II makes it the expression of mellowed observation and judgment.

The book really consists of a series of brief essays on a great variety of topics, which represent the innumerable links of psychiatry to the problems of military and social life in almost all their aspects. This diversity makes it impossible to present an adequate summary of the book. It deals with all the activities of a psychiatrist in the services. The author points out that 'the friendly running fight against opposition' is, of itself, stimulating, and that, 'for most psychiatrists army service provides a new angle to their job and the art of psychiatry itself becomes dynamic'.

As to treatment, the author is not yet sure whether methods have developed very much. In spite of the use of sedation, narcoanalysis, and modified insulin therapy, returns to duty are no greater than during the last war, although possibly long term results may be better.

The author points out the need for recognizing the dull man with a low I.Q. and assigning him to appropriate duties. He emphasizes the necessity for giving as much attention to the mental as to the physical health of the potential officer. An excellent series of points on leadership and morale is included.

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